I was about to sit down with a cold nightcap, a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, until we realized that our Globe story was online (earlier than expected), so I upgraded to a SweetWater IPA. I deserve it.
A friend emailed me today and asked, “are you excited about the story?” I answered, “if excited means sick to my stomach, yes, I’m excited.”
Terrified, exposed, anxious is more like it. The story online is still distant. But imagining folks opening up their papers (those who still get an actual paper) and reading about us, and looking at all those photographs, that is scary. People I know, people I don’t know, former neighbors, ex-boyfriends.
I’ve been trying to really examine what it is that scares me the most and why but honestly it’s all a fog. Lina is less nervous, even though she’s the transgendered one. We decided it’s because Boston isn’t her city and she’s not the writer. Still, she’s one brave and cool chick.
The story about our transgender marriage started as an op-ed piece. I kept reading articles about transgender rights where activists said the movement was hampered because “no one knows trans people” the way they’ve gotten to know gay people. Then I’ll just introduce Lina and me, I figured. Well, the op-ed editor said my submission wasn’t really an op-ed and that I should send it to features (where I worked from 1996 to 2002). So I did and then it morphed and grew from 700 words to 1,300 words and the next thing I knew we’d agreed to a photo shoot.
The photo session was done by Travis Dove, a remarkable young man and photographer who had interned at the Globe and who lives a few towns over from me in Carrboro, NC (bordering Chapel Hill). He was awesome – friendly, respectful, fun. He shadowed us for five hours, and best of all, he managed to send in award-winning photos of Sabrina, aka “Breener the Wiener” (dog) and there she is, in the paper (along with my orange Marmoleum kitchen floor). As a stage mom, this makes me very happy.
I worked with several Globe editors on the story, but deputy features editor Doug Most really shepherded everything through. He arrived at the Globe around the time I left, and we’d never met. We still haven’t spoken – we did it all by email. He was great, pushing me when I needed it and completely respecting the seriousness of the story, while also laughing with me over a few elements of it. He and the copy desk improved the piece, and the design desk came up with a very nice layout, I thought. Last, but certainly not least, the dot-com folks turned off the comments function, per my request. I’m all for feedback, which is why I supplied my email address, but even on innocuous stories, anonymous reader comments for the most part turn vile. I couldn’t take it. We’ll let talk radio pick up the slack.
Meanwhile, here’s to progress. Here’s to love.